wave function squared for s orbital is nonzero at nucleus

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Shannonhoang
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:00 am

wave function squared for s orbital is nonzero at nucleus

Postby Shannonhoang » Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:23 pm

Hi, I was reading 2.5 in the textbook to clarify some confusion I had and then I came upon this phrase: "Wave function squared for the s-orbital is nonzero at the nucleus." This can be bound on page 43 at the beginning of the last paragraph.

I want to make sure I'm interpreting this correctly. I read it as, the probability of finding an s-orbital electron at the *nucleus is non zero.

If this interpretation is correct however, doesn't it contradict a phrase from page 38 "Note that for all orbitals, not just s-orbitals, P is zero at the nucelus simply because the region in which we are looking for the electron has shrunk to zero size." That statement is in regards to the radial distribution function. So I'm wondering if that's why there's a difference?

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Re: wave function squared for s orbital is nonzero at nucleus

Postby Chem_Mod » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:08 pm

If you look back on page 38 you can see the wavefunction as well as the probability function for the s orbital where the wavefunction is given as RY and the probability function is given as r^2R^2(r). Since the probability function involves multiplying the wavefunction and the radius, the probability has to be zero at the nucleus


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